At the table, out come the wintry hearts 'n' pines plates and my mother's 1960s-era red glasses. From the kitchen emerge the foods, mostly old but the occasional new, that celebrate family and faith, faith in family, family in faith.
The picture's from the pre-party table; later it was littered with champagne glasses and cookie crumbs, the room filled with talk and laughter.
The muffins were part of a simple brunch, just eggs and bacon and a fruit salad. Even back in 1984, the last time these muffins were made, I was already keeping notes. "Delicate flavor" and "froze well", I wrote.
And while bookmarked and word-processed recipes are 21st-century convenient, already I mourn the absence of the food notes that don't get written, like these, "big hit at 2005 cookie swap, so were Adanna and Matthew's 'conversation questions', lots of laughs and reminiscing" and "zest from 1 lemon not enough, best with jam".
I wonder: how do we attach food-and-friend memories to recipes in an electronic world? how do we 'browse' those memories in the way we flip through a recipe box?
~ Hearty Heart-Loving Muffins ~
~ Pumpkin Muffins ~
~ more muffin recipes ~
~ more zucchini recipes ~
Time to table: 50 minutes
Quantities below for a single batch of 12 standard-size muffins
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
zest from 2 lemons
1 cup of zucchini grated on smallest holes, packed but not drained (from 3/4 a medium zucchini)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder (1T is not a typo)
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (another time I'd use 2x)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins (don't skip these, somehow they really work)
Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk, oil and zucchini.
::: Warning: unorthodox time- and dish-saving tip follows ::: Before measuring, stir the flours with a spoon right in the canister. The 'lightening' effect will be palpable and reduces the weight of the flour by as much as 25%. Doing this makes all baked goods lighter and less floury. Now measure the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg on top of the wet mixture but without incorporating it in. With a fork, stir them together lightly, still without incorporating them in. This replaces the sifting that recipes usually call for to lighten the flour. (Otherwise, stir together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.)
Incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture until barely mixed. Stir in the pecans and raisins. Fill greased muffins pans 2/3 full with batter and bake for 20 - 25 minutes for standard-size muffins (and according to the recipe, 15 - 25 minutes for 36 mini muffins or 20 - 30 minutes for 6 - 8 giant muffins or 30 - 35 minutes for a nine-inch square coffee cake).
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